Sunday, August 1, 2021

Gamers! DLC 2 Chapter 3

Chapter 3 – Ayumu Kiriya and Play Test

Translator: your_pingas

I, Ayumu Kiriya, don’t believe in occults.

I mean, I love ghost stories. Online news about paranormal activities and weird creatures interest me more or less. But, honestly, that’s all. News about the birth of a new panda sounds the same as a sighting of Tsuchinoko to me. It’s nothing more than daily entertainment. [Literal translation: Child of Hammer. It’s a mythical creature that looks like a snake but with an enlarged middle part.]

So, I love occult stories. However, if you ask me whether I believe it or not, my answer is no.

That’s how I, Ayumu Kiriya, think.


-Until an hour ago.


It’s a certain day in February. The heater in my apartment is running day in and day out. The live streams with my partner are going on as usual.

…Yes, really, …it’s going on as usual.

“Look, Tora-san! Look at this! Uh, I’m usually a pretty bad player. However, …this is the only time I miraculously defeated the boss on my first try! Hurray!”


I looked at my partner silently as she rejoiced in defeating the boss in <Hell’s Blood>.

As she’s putting her legs inside the kotatsu, she’s looking at the TV screen with bright eyes. At the same time, the high school girl is putting her soul into the game. She’s really beautiful.

Adorable and innocent looks, and above all, a very, very outstanding and attractive face. The closest girl to her would be Karen Tendou, another high school girl I met earlier. They are both gorgeous, but she seems to be ideal from another perspective.

So, …that’s, …if it’s just from visuals-

“Hmm, …this game’s graphics are surprisingly bad.”


There should be absolutely no reason to mistake her from a certain herbivorous nerd high school boy.

After she looked away from me, I couldn’t help but rub my temples as I shook my head.

(I don’t know about these “people watching a bad player”, “expecting a defeat but ended up didn’t”, and “somehow miraculously killing the boss on stream” stuff. For some reason, I have a strange feeling of déjà vu.)

I’m disgusted. It feels like I’m spending the day in the same way with a certain someone.

Actually, she- Chiaki Hoshinomori, is playing at my apartment for the first time.

“…Hmm, oh, it looks like the main quest is starting.”

I remained silent and just let her do her own thing. …My new gaming partner, Chiaki Hoshinomori, entered the extremely difficult RPG <Hell’s Blood>’s character creation screen.

“Ooh, there are more choices than I thought.”

The screen showed a huge amount of ornaments and clothing. Chiaki Hoshinomori mumbled in amazement in front of the screen. I think I’ve seen this somewhere else before. However, I don’t want to interrupt the stream, so let’s skip the unnecessary descriptions for now.

One of the selling points of this game is the huge freedom of character creation.

You can use all kinds of customizations in this game to create your character. Examples are eyes, physique, and hair.

This is one of the important elements in live streams. The live streamer can get creative and make weird characters. Of course, people laugh at you in the beginning. However, the design will affect everything from the audience’s reaction to views.

“Hmm, I’ll go with the default settings since it’s so annoying.”

-In the end, Chiaki Hoshinomori finished her character without adding anything. I can’t help but yell, “That’s creative in a different way!” I wanted to complain, but something stopped me.

(No, …I feel like I’ve seen the exact same pattern before.)

I’m getting dizzy. My head hurts. …What is this? Did I time travel? At this moment, I checked my phone. The date is correct – early February. Today’s time is passing as usual. That should be the case.

Chiaki Hoshinomori continued playing without noticing my emotions. After spending some time exploring the dark dungeon, the first pawn enemy showed up. A girl that can defeat the tutorial boss should find this a piece of cake, even if she’s too nervous. …Just as I’m thinking that-

“Ouch, he punches hard. …Hey, this guy- what, that’s ridiculous…”

I saw her character nearly dying from the heavy blow. In the end, she barely managed to defeat one enemy.


This time, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this playstyle before.

(This…this is the same as the one I’ve seen before!)

Just like what I expected, this isn’t like those time-skipping phenomena in movies. However, …if this is another supernatural event, I can’t believe I’m really encountering it. That’s because-

Chiaki Hoshinomori thought for a second before giving me an empty smile.

“The enemy couldn’t even kill me. I guess he’s really not that strong.”

With her stupid line, I’m pretty sure “he” is staying with me now.

I glanced at the roof as my world flipped upside down in secret. …I’ve changed my mind about occults.

(Ah, …doppelgangers, does it really exist in this world?)

Chiaki Hoshinomori, she’s- the perfect replica of Keita Amano.


We first met each other around two weeks ago.

Everything started when I talked to her while she was playing next to the game store. …No, it’s not like I lured her.

First of all, I lost my live streaming partner due to all kinds of reasons recently. So, I had to look for a replacement. At that time, her reaction was very similar to my previous partner. Naturally, this girl, Chiaki Hoshinomori, caught my eye. Obviously, I scouted her right away. …I didn’t lure her or anything. I just scouted her. …Hey, don’t get me wrong here, and don’t you call me a seduction master right away. …Tck.

Anyway, because of how I met her, I knew her similarity to my old partner right at the start. However, I never thought that she would be such a perfect clone. At this point, I don’t even know how the future streams will go anymore. There are just too many variables, and to be honest, it’s annoying. Even though their genders are different, how will the audience react to another person with the exact same personality? Sigh.

…Let’s get back to the story.

Anyway, everything was fine before I scouted her as a replacement candidate. But, just like I expected, she- Chiaki Hoshinomori didn’t come to my apartment on the day we met. Of course, we’re talking about a weird uni student luring you here. “Hey, why don’t you play games at my house?” I don’t even know where I can find a high school girl that’ll say yes.

No, well, I used to be alone until a naïve and innocent high school boy who loves games showed up.

Sigh, for him, he thinks that he went to a guy’s house because I look like one to him. So, he resisted much less than Chiaki Hoshinomori.

However, no matter how similar they are, Chiaki Hoshinomori is a girl. She won’t enter the apartment of a university “guy” even if I try. I kept persuading her. In the end, I think I scared her too much, and her eyes were filled with tears.

I freaked out a bit back then. To ease this girl’s worries, I immediately told her my secret generously.

Unlike Keita Amano, I told her the fact that I’m a girl right away.

This secret had a pretty big effect. It lowered her extreme guard right away.

In the end, this resulted in a new problem. No, I caused it.

It’s because I knew it when I saw that uniform…

…She’s a student of Otobuki High School. That’s where Keita Amano and Karen Tendou are in, the high school filled with students, whom I can’t reveal my gender to. In other words, telling Chiaki Hoshinomori that I’m a girl brings corresponding risks. …But, who am I kidding? I don’t think any of my friends will be involved in a shitty light novel’s plot like this. I’m worried about it too much.

Anyway, it’s been 2 weeks since I met her. By chatting about games bit by bit and closing our distance, my hard work has finally paid off. We’re recording our first live stream today.

(You’ve been working hard, …Ayumu.)

After recalling my memories, I clenched my fist as Chiaki Hoshinomori mumbled to herself in awe.

“Hiya, but this <Hell’s Blood> really is a good game, after all. Even though I didn’t buy it when it was first released, I’m now seriously considering buying a discounted version!”

“Ah, glad you liked the game.”

I answered as I secretly glanced at her. She’s still a bit nervous, but she can talk with me a lot as long as she’s holding the controller, ...just like Keita.

(Hmm, she has the same issue as Keita. It’s fine if she’s just playing with friends. However, it seems that her communication skills will take a dive if she knows we’re recording…)

I finished the remaining coffee as I sighed deeply.

…Just like Keita, she still doesn’t know we’re recording. If I tell her right now, she’ll definitely show her timid side and freak out.

This is the same answer and decision I made when Keita was still the partner.

In the end, I got more views, and the audience was satisfied.

So, if I’m recording with his clone, the correct answer is to keep it a secret, just like what I did to Keita. That should be the case if I care about the video only.


However, this time.


I made up my mind and slammed the empty can onto the table forcefully. Then, I called the high school girl gamer by her live streaming name.


She turned around. I looked at her innocent face and took a deep breath. Side note, the name “Shiana” comes from the word “otoshiana” (pitfall). Right now, we have aliases like Torabasami (tiger trap) and Jiraiya (landmine). It’s a series of traps. That’s right.

However, she doesn’t know where her name came from. To be more precise, the reason I gave is, “Oh, this is the SSR character’s name of my favorite mobile game!” “Wow, I’m honored!” What a dumb way to feel excited. That’s why I’m having a hard time telling her the truth.

…Well, that’s that.

I scratched my cheeks and spoke up again.

“Hey, I…want to ask you for another favor.”

“Hmm? Asking…for a favor? Me?”

Chiaki Hoshinomori tilted her head in disbelief.

I straightened my back, turned around, and said, “This is important.” Then, I took a deep breath calmly and closed my eyes. …After that, I made up my mind again.

(This time, …I’ll do it. I’ll tell you about the live streams.)

That’s something I didn’t tell my former live streaming partner, Jiraiya- Keita. Also, …I still regret that I didn’t tell him.

Of course, if I consider the videos’ quality, I shouldn’t tell them the truth to avoid freaking them out. I mean, at least they get to enjoy the game freely if they remain blissfully ignorant. Keeping the secret is the most logical answer that makes everyone happy. I know that.



I opened my eyes determinedly.

(…I won’t lie to my dear friends again, …no matter what. I don’t want to do that anymore.)

This is I, …Ayumu Kiriya’s conclusion. Even if the live streams become boring, even if anything happens, it’s way better than suffering in guilt.

I stared at Hoshinomori’s face and continued.

“Shiana, I’ll be honest here. If it weren’t for you, my live streams would be-“

“Oh, please wait, Tora-san!”

Just as I’m about to cut into the chase, Hoshinomori suddenly turned to the screen. I followed her. What’s on here…?

“<Wizard of Blood>…”

“Uh, this is…?”

An evil character suddenly appeared in front of Hoshinomori. She couldn’t help but back down. A humanoid creature made of black blood clots, which definitely makes it a strong enemy. On top of that, it’s impossible to not get nervous at a boss battle, especially when it’s in a beginner’s area.

I gave her an overview of the enemy as they stared at each other.

“This guy, …the <Wizard of Blood> is a new enemy added in this update.”

“Right, I’ve seen some of the clips before, but I didn’t notice an enemy like this. …Anyway, this guy-“

She’s freaking out. Hoshinomori kept throwing questions at me nervously as her eyes were glued to the screen.

In contrast, I answered casually with an experienced gamer’s attitude.

“Listen here, this guy’s called the <Gamer Ender>. It can imitate other players as well.”

“Yeah, he can do that as long as there is data online, right?”

“O-Oh, online, …I see.”

After the explanation, I gently looked away from the screen.

“I see. Well, …Shiana, I’ll give you courage! Hey-“

Chiaki Hoshinomori finally fights the <Wizard of Blood> head-on. Behind the sounds of metal swords hitting each other- I covered my mouth and screamed silently alone.


The doppelgangers are fighting each other in a fierce battle as a uni girl is sweating profusely behind.

I drowned in regret after looking at the screen again.

(Right! Even though it uses online data, it can also use the ones in my console too! I forgot to delete Keita’s data!)

This is, …this is-

“Ugh! It’s not giving up! Please just die already!”

This is a live stream about a deadly battle between my current and previous partners! Who can even see this!? I’m not even sure if this counts as entertainment!

I can brush it off if this is settled quickly, but…

“Ahhh! What kind of <Wizard of Blood> is this!? He’s matching me move to move! I can’t win at all!”

(You damn clones!)

When these two clones are fighting, the game gets stretched so long that it’s horrifyingly boring. This is what a complete stalemate means. They just keep going back-and-forth, and the fighting has virtually no progress.

5 minutes after the battle, Hoshinomori and I are both tired, but in a different sense.

In the end, the match ended as a stalemate, an obvious and reasonable conclusion. Even though it’s a game over, both of us felt really relieved.

“Ha, I’m exhausted…”

After her character respawned, Hoshinomori put down the controller and stretched her back carefully.

“I haven’t spent this much time playing a single game in a long while…”

“Hmm? …What’s wrong, Kiriya-san? Why are you rubbing your chest?”

“It’s nothing. …I didn’t really care about this before. But, when you get to show off the things that make you better, it’s unexpectedly mortifying for me.”

“Uh, I have no idea what you’re talking about…”

“You don’t need to know that. Right, only winners have the right to know that.”

“What do you mean by I don’t need to know that!? I feel like you’re laughing at me!”

“Losers certainly bark loud.”

“You! Even though you’re a grown-up, I’m still really mad right now, Tora-san!”

Hoshinomori protested furiously. Looking at her, I can’t help but smile disgustingly.

“Fufu, …I thought you’re a gentle girl, but you can complain loudly and naturally when the time comes. That’s a reason that makes you attractive too.”


“What’s wrong? What’s with that dazed face?”

“Eh? No, I mean, Tora-san, you’re actually an amazingly beautiful girl.”


Her praises are innocent and honest, just like another dense idiot. I’m feeling more embarrassed than I should be.

Hoshinomori pressed on.

“Also, …even though you have a completely different personality, …Tora-san reminds me of ‘him’ for some reason.”

“Him? What, you have a boyfriend?”


Hoshinomori is a beautiful girl, after all. It’s natural for her to have a boyfriend. However, she keeps insisting that she’s a “lone wolf” even until now, so I’m a bit surprised.

…W-Wait, wait, wait, didn’t that self-proclaimed high school lone wolf guy reveal that he has a girlfriend (ex) and made a big mess too? I think that happened.

“So, it’s like you’re going out with someone even though you don’t have any friends…?”

I just mumbled that out without much consideration. Suddenly, Chiaki Hoshinomori’s face rapidly turned red. She screamed with the loudest voice I’ve ever heard from her.

“No, no, no, no, that’s ridiculous! He’s not my boyfriend! It’s too much of an honor- I don’t know! I’ve been trying to find out for myself. No, but that’s not the case at this moment! Yes! Ah, no, maybe there are plans in the future, but-“

Hoshinomori shook her head repeatedly. I understood her reaction pretty easily, even though I’m inexperienced in romance.

“So? Do I look like the ‘him’ that you love?”

Finally, steam blasted out of Hoshinomori’s head as she passed out on the ground. I squinted my eyes as if I’m looking at something dazzling.

(Sheesh, all of you are enjoying your youth.)

In that impression of mine, half of it is sadness, and another half is nostalgia. It’s great to be young. Looking back, I don’t think I’ve experienced any of that.

I turned to the game screen, which was left alone for a while now. The battle ended, and the armored swordsman returned to the start. He’s just standing there without doing anything.

“…Isn’t it nice, Shiana. Unlike me, who practically stopped time long ago for the sake of playing games, your daily love life must be glamorous.”

Hoshinomori bulged her eyes after hearing what I said. I gave her a bitter smile. Then, I stood up and grabbed a new can of coffee from the fridge. After returning to the seat, I put my fingers on the can to open it-

“No, I think games are what made my daily life much shinier than my love.”

I stopped and tilted my head.

“…Uh, what does that mean?”

“Hmm? It’s nothing. …I don’t know about other people. But, for me, thoughts like ‘Ahhhh, I fell in love. The world is so bright right now! I’m so happy!’ has never come to me. …Instead, there’s a lot more I have to do.”

I don’t feel like holding a love talk to a high school girl, but is this girl’s youth really okay?

However, even with my own worries, this time, Hoshinomori smiled cheerfully.

“However, on the other hand, ‘Oh, this game is really fun! I can’t wait to keep playing it! The world grows brighter when I think about how much I can play when I get home tomorrow!’ I thought about this many times on my own!”

“What’s with that pathetic story?”

Is this girl’s youth really okay?

“I-I’m sorry. I guess it’s too shameful, …but.”

She scratched her head slightly embarrassedly.

Even so, she spoke up determinedly as she looked at my eyes.

“Even when I’m alone, …time won’t stop just because I’m having a good time playing games. …That’s what I think.”

I felt completely speechless at that moment. The coffee can in my hand dropped and hit my kneecaps.

The reason I’m so shocked isn’t just because of what she said.

Her conclusion, her pose, and her kindness.

More than anything else, I’m dubbing her as Keita Amano.

“Uh, …well, …a-are you okay?”

I remained speechless as she looked at me. I guess she misunderstood something. “I’m surprised.”

Just as I’m thinking about this lasting dead-air, she looked at my clock and freaked out before standing up hastily. “It’s already this late!?”

“I-I guess I have to leave now! Yes!”

“Eh, oh, sure…”

I answered her dazedly.

Just as Hoshinomori’s wearing her coat, I put the coffee can on the table and stood up to bid farewell to her. Suddenly, I regained my consciousness as a streamer.

(No, no, no! That’s not it! I’m trying to ask her to help out with my streams!)

We went totally off-track just then. This is the main topic.

The most important part is…

(She has to be my live streaming partner, after all!)

At this point, I’m even more determined in what I have to do. It’s not just because she’s similar to Keita. Instead, it’s simply because…

(I like this kid.)

I don’t think this feeling is love. I just like this kid as a person. That’s the same as how I feel about Keita Amano. …Is it the same? Is it not? Wait…?

“Oh, well, Tora- Kiriya-san, I’ll be leaving.”


Hoshinomori’s already preparing to leave when I snapped out of it. I quickly put aside my strange thoughts and stopped her.


“What? Kiriya-san? Uh, I mean, that name, …aren’t you just supposed to call me that when we’re playing together?”

“This is why! Look, <Hell’s Blood> isn’t over yet!”

I pointed to the screen. Hoshinomori forced herself to laugh as if she’s in trouble.

“No, what do you mean it’s not over? …Isn’t this game about to end?”

“Tck, you’re right, but…why don’t we play other games instead?”

“But, …starting a new game is a bit-“


Just like what I expected, these “test plays” can’t keep her here any longer. Eventually, I’ll have to tell her about the live streams and ask her for help. Eventually…

(Tck, …I see. It’s a little harder to tell her about the live streams than before!)

Now that I know she’s really similar to Keita and that she’s a good person. The demand of wanting her to replace Keita has grown even more than before.

I wish she’s more different than Keita or that she acts more unpleasantly.

This is a conundrum. I want Chiaki Hoshinomori to become my live streaming partner because I like her. However, at the same time, because I like her, such a rude request really hurts me.


“…Hmm? Kiriya-san? Uh.”

I lowered my head. I couldn’t say anything to make her stay. Hoshinomori gave me a confused look.

(Yes, that’s right. If I consider Hoshinomori to be a very important friend, and if I’ve learned anything from my failure with Keita, …there’s only one option left.)

(I don’t want to treat her as a replacement for my stream partner anymore. First of all, I want to be her friend.)

That’s the conclusion I reached after the bitter farewell with Keita.

Yes, live streaming is my hobby and an important part of my life. However, that doesn’t justify using my friends.

The most important thing is that I want to play games with these guys happily.

That’s why…

“Hoshinomori, if you want to, do you want to come to visit my house again and have fun playing games together?”

I said it. I finally said it. That’s what I really wanted to tell Keita. Although it’s a bit too late, I still learned from that experience and grew up. At last…

“Eh? Well, yes, of course, but…”

I’m relieved. Hoshinomori accepted me even though she’s confused.

“Oh, very well, glad to hear that. Hoshinomori, I’m looking forward to working with you.”

“Ah, yes, …my best regards.”

So, both of us decided to shake each other’s hands firmly. Just as Hoshinomori’s putting her hand onto mine, she asked, “Right, there’s something I want to ask you. Is Kiriya-san-“

“Really? Anyway, Hoshinomori. This Kiriya-san will answer any questions you have.”

I answered her with an elegant and refreshing smile. Yes, that’s right. I have nothing left to fear, nothing-

“-Kiriya-san, are you the streamer Torabasami?”


At that moment, I heard the sound of the world breaking apart.

Where did that clear sky and sunny atmosphere go? A bloody and violent scream erupted inside my chest, followed by looming and thundering clouds.

…How did…she-

“No, …eh? Why…? …Eh? Eh?”

Sweat is raining from my forehead as I scrambled my brain. However, Hoshinomori didn’t notice my change in mood. She put her finger on her chin as she continued with an innocent look.

“Uh, I’ve always thought that your voice is similar to his, but I was really convinced when you told me to call you Tora-san.”


At this point, my breaths are getting rougher when I finally realized how thoughtless my actions were. …No, …but, …it’s because…I never thought someone so close to me would watch my little live streams.

Hoshinomori continued.

“But, because the streamer Torabasami is portrayed as a guy, I wondered whether I messed up you two. However, aside from that, everything’s coming together. The final pieces are <Hell’s Blood> and the play test.”

“Eh…? So, that means…”

I noticed what she’s talking about, and my face went pale.

However, Hoshinomori…clearly misunderstood my reaction as I’m just embarrassed. She told me the decisive truth with a smile filled with kindness and innocence.

“I mean, isn’t this the same situation where Torabasami-san lied to Jiraiya-san to play with him live?”


I wrapped my hands around my head in horror at the sudden appearance of an “audience”.

(What is this!? What’s happening!? W…What should I do right now!?)

The unexpected situation robbed me of my ability to think of a solution.

Hoshinomori, …with her denseness reminiscent of someone, continued with an even more innocent and “I think it’s good” attitude.

“That reaction! There’s no doubt that you’re Torabasami-san!”

“No, that’s because- it’s just a coincidence-“

“No, no! Actually, it’s more common than you might think! Like this! I even had a fateful encounter with my friend in a mobile game a while ago! Yes!”

What an unnecessarily extraordinary miraculous event? Who on earth made that happen? Damn.

Hoshinomori stared at me with sparkling eyes.

“Wow, wow, what should I do? I really love Torabasami-san’s live streams!”

“Uh, yeah, thank you-“

“Especially Jiraiya-san’s live streams. I really love them!”


What is this!? Seriously, what is this!? Why am I getting praise for videos from a person I tried to replace Jiraiya a while ago? What should I do!?

At the same time, Hoshinomori spoke in an embarrassed tone. This time, she’s starting with an “Ehehe”.

“Uh, …actually, to be honest, I’m a big fan of Jiraiya!”

“Eh, ah, I see.”

I wonder why I can’t stop sweating and shivering. Seriously.

Suddenly, Hoshinomori looked at the air as she released this uncharacteristically girly atmosphere.

“How should I put it? …Uh, I feel like his voice and personality are really similar to the boy I’m in love with, Jiraiya-san.”


W-Wait, what’s happening? My head hurts, and I’m getting dizzy. Isn’t this weird?

No, the strangest thing is that these symptoms are caused by that certain thought. Even though I’m not 100% sure, it seems that it has sublimated into something resembling “confidence” within me.

Just as my lips are trembling, Hoshinomori checked the clock again. “Ah, it’s already this late! I’m sorry!” She lowered her head and apologized before walking to the door.

I freaked out and chased after her. Hoshinomori quickly got on her shoes. Then, she turned around and smiled at the entrance.

“Well, while I don’t think I can do live streams, but, Torabasami-san, no, Kiriya-san, I’d love to play with you in the future as a friend!”

“Eh, uh, yes, I see. Yes, thanks.”

“No, I’m the same too!”

She plopped her head down. Yeah, she’s a really good girl- no, now’s not the time to be impressed by her!

Hoshinomori already put her hand on the handle. Half of her body was already outside when I snapped out of it. Meanwhile, I don’t think I can go out without a coat.

“Hey, Hoshinomori, uh-“


It seems to be impossible to keep her from rushing home. If that’s the case, …in the end, just one final question, …I have to ask her this no matter what!

I squeezed out my voice and asked her my final question as she left the room.

“Uh, if you don’t mind, can you tell me the name of the person you’re in love with!?”

“Eh? Uh, why…?”

“Well, because I’m your friend! I’m a little worried because I’m your friend that loves the same game! Yes!”

“Oh, I see. In that case, his name is-“

The girl started closing the door. After that, with an embarrassed smile- she answered.

“-Keita. The name of the person I love is…Keita Amano.”


The door closed firmly after that. Then, I can hear her saying, “Excuse me.” as her footsteps went quieter and quieter.


At the same time, …I leaned by the wall as I looked up to the ceiling.

“You’ve got to be kidding me, …right…?”

My back rubbed against the wall as I collapsed.

Finally, when I sat down in the cold corridor, …I couldn't help but cry out.

“…Why did she show up here? What does this mean…?”

She knows that I’m a girl. She knows that I’m a streamer. She knows Jiraiya’s similarity to Keita Amano. Also, above all that, she has unrestricted access to my house.

In other words-

“…She’s the final boss, right…?”

-On this day, Chiaki Hoshinomori, the largest bomb in history, not to mention Jiraiya, has made a brilliant debut in my story.

<Time until Keita Amano’s girlfriend enters Ayumu Kiriya’s apartment: 2 months>

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